Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot
28 August 2011 WOS Rating: Taskmaster is one of those one-off, 'only in Edinburgh' shows. The concept is simple: Alex Horne is the 'Taskmaster', setting tasks throughout the year that a group of comedians (Dan Atkinson, Stu Goldsmith, Steve Hall, Tim Key, Lloyd Langford, Josie Long, Mark Watson, Henning Wehn, Joe Wilkinson) and one critic (Bruce Dessau) must tackle. Points are awarded for their efforts, and a winner crowned at the end of the show.
The tasks range from the simple (Task 3: Guess the date of birth, weight, name etc of Horne's second baby) to the ridiculous (Task 5: Drink a pint of rainwater), and the comedians' endeavours are presented during the show.
Highlights included some impressive clay modelling skills from Goldsmith (Task 4: Make a statue of Alex Horne), Tim Key risking his 2009 Foster's Comedy Award trophy in a bid to win Task 1 (Send in something expensive), and a series of emails from Horne to Dessau - and only Dessau (comedy critic for the Evening Standard) - encouraging him to win Task 7 by jumping into the sea (which he did).
The whole show is thoroughly good fun, and a rare opportunity to see so many Festival favourites on the same stage.
The eventual winner was Josie Long, who beat Stu Goldsmith in a tie-break by fitting 18 grapes into her mouth. Her victory meant she won all the items submitted for Task 1, including Key's 2009 trophy; however, after her winner's speech she graciously returned it to him. As a nominee for this year's main Foster's award, she does after all have a chance to win her own to keep.
- Emma Watkins
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...